U.S. stocks extended gains on Thursday in a broad push higher after three days of losses.
The S&P 500 was up 0.53%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1%, and the Nasdaq added 0.66%.
Crude oil prices fell again on Thursday after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries reported its highest monthly production levels in three years. Production rose by 230,100 barrels a day in November.
OPEC also said that supply from countries outside the oil group would contract as members hold market share by keeping production levels steady. Non-OPEC oil supply growth is expected to be "much lower" this year and next, OPEC said in its latest monthly report. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell 1% to $36.80 a barrel.
New claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. unexpectedly climbed 13,000 to 282,000 in the past week, according to the Labor Department. Economists had expected weekly jobless claims to fall to 269,000.
The countdown to next week's Federal Reserve meeting has begun. The Fed is likely to hike rates at the conclusion of its two-day meeting next Wednesday, the first move higher in nearly a decade. Odds for a hike were boosted after a better-than-expected November jobs report last week.
"Once off zero, the path of policy will be fraught with 'considerable uncertainty'" Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note. "We expect the Fed to strengthen its message of gradualism and reconstruct the statement to ring in a change in policy."
AIG (AIG) - Get Report chief financial officer David Herzog will exit his role once the company files its 2015 annual report, the company announced on Thursday. Chief risk officer Sid Sankaran will assume his duties once he leaves the position.
Warren Buffett, billionaire investor, disclosed an 8.02% stake in real estate investment trust Seritage Growth Properties (SRG) - Get Report , pushing his total stake to $70.5 million. The REIT was created by struggling retailer Sears (SHLD) . Seritage shares rose 12.5% while Sears shares jumped 6%.
Walmart (WMT) - Get Report has begun testing its own mobile payment system, Walmart Pay, a direct competitor to Apple's Apple Pay. The smartphone-based payment system will work with all credit and debit cards, as well as Walmart gift cards. The first phase is being rolled out at stores in Arkansas.
First Solar (FSLR) - Get Report tumbled more than 10% in premarket trading after issuing disappointing 2016 guidance. The alternative-energy company said it expects full-year revenue between $3.9 billion and $4.1 billion, compared to analysts' estimates of $4.09 billion.
General Electric (GE) - Get Report was slightly higher on reports it is in advanced talks to buy the drilling-services division of Halliburton (HAL) - Get Report . Halliburton, the oilfields services company, is selling some of its assets in order to win regulatory approval for its takeover of Baker Hughes (BHI) .
Chevron (CVX) - Get Report shares were on watch after the oiler announced deep cuts to its exploration and production capital spending plans. The company plans to reduce capital expenditures by 24% by 2016. Oil companies have been cutting planned spending in the face of an extended period of low oil prices.
Yahoo! (YHOO) shares were on watch after Citigroup analysts downgraded the stock to neutral. The firm gave the Internet company a $39 price target, arguing it lacks near-term catalysts.
Men's Wearhouse (MW) slumped 25% on Thursday after sales at its suit retailer Jos. A. Bank fell 35.1% in the quarter to date. The company said it would book a $90.1 million charge for its investment in Jos. A. Bank.
Business software developer Atlassian (TEAM) - Get Report began trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday morning. The company opened at $27.67 a share, above its initial public offering price of $21 a share. The IPO price values Atlassian at $4.38 billion, above a recent private-investment round which valued it at $3 billion.